Sir John Suckling

Sir John Suckling was an English, Cavalier poet who was born in Twickenham,

Middlesex, on February 10, 1609. His mother died in 1613, when he was four years
of age. His father, descendant of a prominent Norfolk family, was appointed

Comptroller of James I\'s household in 1622. Suckling matriculated at Trinity

College, Cambridge in 1623, but left without taking a degree in 1626. Suckling
inherited extensive estates after his father\'s death in 1627. At the age of
eighteen, he pursued a military and ambassadorial career in the Low Countries,
and was knighted as a result in 1630. He returned to the English court in 1632
where through his wealth and charm he was known as an "elegant and popular
gallant and gamester, credited with having invented the game of cribbage."
(MacLean 252) In 1637 Suckling wrote the prose work Account of Religion by

Reason. His play, Aglaura, was published in 1638 and performed twice for Charles

I. The play had two different endings, one tragic and one happy. Critics did not
favor it, but it introduced some wonderful lyrics, such as "Why so pale and
wan, fond lover?" (Crofts 51) That same year, Suckling\'s comedy The Goblins
was published. "It was much influenced by Shakespeare\'s The Tempest and it
is generally thought to be Suckling\'s best." (Andromeda Interactive Ltd.)

In 1639, Suckling recruited and equipped cavalry to help the King in Scotland.
"He was ridiculed by London wits for the troops\' elaborate uniforms
(scarlet coats and plumed hats) but was well-esteemed by the King." (Andromeda

Interactive Ltd.) In 1640, Suckling sat in Parliament for Bramber and took part
in an unsuccessful action against the Scots. Suckling was involved in a royalist
plan in 1641 to make use of the army on behalf of Charles I. When Parliament
ordered him to account for the movements he made, Suckling fled through Dieppe
to Paris. A few months later, he is said to have committed suicide by taking
poison. Most of Suckling\'s work first appeared in Fragmenta Aurea of 1646. As

Thomas Crofts writes: "Suckling\'s verse, of course, smacks of the court: it
is witty, decorous, sometimes naughty; all requisites for the courtier poet. But
these qualities alone would not have sufficed to "perpetuate his
memory." It should be remembered that the court swarmed with now-forgotten
versifiers. Suckling has his own voice, a deft conversational ease mixed at
times with a certain hauteur or swagger, which qualities were not incompatible
with his high birth and military occupation.... Though his oeuvre is
comparatively small, Suckling is an exemplary lyric poet, as well as one of the
most vivid personalities of his age." (Crofts 51) As was mentioned in many
of the biographies that were written about him, Suckling was an exemplary writer
and poet. The two pieces of his work that I want to focus on in this paper are

Sonnet I and Sonnet II. My purpose is to analyze the piece and explain how it
relates to events in his life, or just how it relates to his personality and the
type of person that he is. Sonnet I is a piece that focuses on Suckling himself,
like most of his work does. It is about Suckling and the fact that he is no
longer drawn to a certain woman the way he used to be drawn to her. There was a
time, though, where he was infatuated with her. In this piece, he ponders the
stages of life, mainly the sexual stages of human life. Sonnet I 1 " Dost
see how unregarded now 2 That piece of beauty passes? 3 There was a time when I
did vow 4 To that alone; 5 But mark the fate of faces; 6 The red and white works
now no more on me, 7 Than if it could not charm, or I not see. 8 And yet the
face continues good, 9 And I still have desires, 10 Am still the selfsame flesh
and blood, 11 As apt to melt, 12 And suffer from those fires; 13 Oh, some kind
of power unriddle where it lies, 14 Whether my heart be faulty, or her eyes. 15

She every day her man does kill, 16 And I as often die; 17 Neither her power,
then, nor my will 18 Can question\'d be, 19 What is the mystery? 20 Sure beauty\'s
empires, like to greater states, 21 Have certain periods set, and hidden
fates." (Crofts 52-53) Lines 1 and 2 of the piece pose a question to
someone. It could be to any reader, or to